Meet Yasmin and Shaiyanne Dar, the sisters behind the new online shop for bohemian babes, Dolkii. These two #girlbosses have a serious sense of style and their site brings you the best of the best in free-spirited finds—think Somedays Lovin, Free People and Minkpink clothing, as well as crystal jewelry and mandala throw blankets. The company's motto is "Be Otherworldly," and they describe the Dolkii girl as being a go-getter, dream chaser, smart, confident and creative, which is actually exactly who they are. Shai and Yas were both born in Pakistan and raised on Oahu, but manage their brand on opposite sides of the country—Yas from Honolulu and Shai from Brooklyn, New York (though she frequently travels to Honolulu and Los Angeles for work). I caught up with these two entrepreneurs after working with them on a shoot for Dolkii.com. Be prepared to be inspired...
YAS: I started working in television news in 2009 when I was pursuing my masters degree in communications at the University of Hawaii. KITV was my first on-air break as a social media reporter/traffic anchor and then in 2012, I was offered the evening anchor position for KVAL news in Eugene, Oregon. After the birth of my son, my husband and I moved back to Hawaii and I decided to become a stay at home mom. During this time, I started mommycrush.com. However, by the time my son turned 8 months old, I felt the itch to go back to work. So in addition to owning and operating Dolkii.com with Shaiyanne, I also work for the Governor as his Digital Media Specialist.
SHAI: I started my career in the fashion industry immediately after graduating from fashion school and I was so lucky that doors opened in my favor when I pursued this path. While at FIDM I interned in the merchandising department at Lucky Brand Jeans where my supervisor sparked my interest in buying by exposing me to the world of production and purchasing. Shortly after I graduated I joined the retail team at True Religion Brand Jeans, where I had two amazing bosses who taught me everything I needed to know about buying, planning, inventory management and mastering Excel. (Oh my gosh, trust me, if you don't know Excel you will NOT survive in this industry.)
Three years after living in Los Angeles, I accepted a job with Diesel Jeans in New York City, managing their merchandise analyst team, but that was short-lived when an opening on their eCommerce team was announced. I jumped at the opportunity because there is no denying that eCommerce and digital is the future, it's the NOW. It was definitely a challenge learning, digital landscape is so much more dimensional than brick and mortar, but I had the support of my boss and mentor, Scott Lux, who to this day guides me along this journey and gives me some of the best advice. During my two years at Diesel I worked my way up to eCommerce Buyer & Merchandiser, basically managing all touch points related to inventory. Today, besides being the Co-Owner of Dolkii, I'm also the Head of eCommerce & Social Media for a lingerie company.
INSPIRATION FOR RECENT COLLECTION
YAS: When we picked these pieces for Dolkii, we kept the mermaid bohemian babe in mind. Coming from Hawaii, a lot of girls can relate to this effortless style and we want to cater to them. Shaiyanne is the definition of this style, however, I can't pull off half of the looks she wears. I have a more structured style with a touch of boho, which you can see in a few of our pieces.
SHAI: Honestly, I channel the majority of my inspiration from all the blogs I follow on Tumblr. There is so much you can tap into just by following people who have the same interest as you. My second source of inspiration, hands down, is Vanessa Hudgens. I'm completely obsessed with her effortless bohemian style and sweet care free attitude. Being able to travel between Hawaii, Los Angeles and New York City is very inspiring as well, as I get to see the diverse culture and style across these cities and spot trends to carry in our shop.
YAS: I love supporting local businesses, especially if they are run by talented and strong #girlbosses! Some of my top faves are Fighting Eel, Ava Sky, Andy South, Ginger13 and Bamboo Sky. These girls are not only my inspo but they also show support in return, especially to small businesses owned by women. Currently our go-to restaurants include the Olive Tree, Opal's Thai, Pig & The Lady, JJ Dolans and of course we love our farmers market at Ward. My husband and I live in town so we walk to a lot of these places. It's our family bonding time, plus we get a great work out from it!
SHAI: Because I travel a bit and always on the go, I'm an avid online shopper. It's not only convenient but it's perfect research for me to look into ways to optimize our website. Also, I love coming home from work to packages waiting for me at the front desk of my—it's like Christmas! Aside from all the amaze items we carry in our shop, lately I've also been purchasing randomly from up and coming brands I literally find while browsing Instagram.
Local brands are my favorite as well, and I love supporting the Hawaii community, as they have been so supportive and welcoming of our brand. Fighting Eel and Wonderland Honolulu are two of my favorites. But for the most part, anyone who knows me understands my obsession with Free People. Nine out of 10 times if you ask me what I'm wearing my response is Free People. We are so blessed to carry their line on Dolkii! As for food, that list is never ending. I'm a Yelp Elite so you can just check out my Yelp page for my faves. WARNING: lots and lots of donut recommendations!
YAS: Family is everything to me, especially when my siblings and in-laws are in town. Ideally, I would love a staycation where I can sleep in, but my son doesn't know what it means to sleep through the night, so as of right now it is just a dream for me! But ideally I love hanging out by the pool or at the beach with a poke bowl and end the day with some ice cold shave ice with my family. Of course it wouldn't be complete without a nice spa day. I love all of the islands, so its hard to choose one that I absolutely love. That is a perfect staycation for me!
SHAI: Wherever Yasmin's baby boy Luca is (my nephew). It still trips me out that I'm an auntie and if there is one thing I don't like about living on the mainland, it's that I'm so far away from him and missing out on all his milestones as he gets older! The best is when I come home and we take him to the North Shore. As of right now he absolutely hates the ocean, but it makes for some epic pictures and memories, haha!
THE BEST DAYS ARE SPENT...
YAS: At the beach, with some kind of bowl in my hand (poke bowl, acai bowl, loco moco in a bowl). By the end of the day everyone is in a good mood and my son is TKO'd!
SHAI: Relaxing and eating donuts lol...donut judge me!
SHAI: Ahh, too many! Of course, all the gorgeous North Shore beaches are my number one: Papailoa, Sunset Beach, Pipeline and Keikis. On the west side my go to is Pray For Sex, and if I want to stay close to my house then I go to Tonggs.
CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT
YAS: My custom bar necklace from Katrina Cordova Designs with my son's name, Gianluca, stamped on it. I also love my dainty loose diamond necklace from Padma & Pickles. I interchange those two necklaces, or layer them.
SHAI: POKE BOWLS! Pupukea Grill all da way! And Spicy Arare from Longs. Yeah, I like all the food that gives you stink breath, lol...so I'd probably add gum to this list, too.
WE SHOULD KNOW
YAS & SHAI: We have been blessed to work with so many amazing creatives in Hawaii. Crystal Pancipanci, who has done all of the hair, makeup and styling on our shoots, she defines what it is to be a #girlboss. We can't identify just one favorite photographer as I take inspiration from so many different individuals depending on their style. To name a few based in Hawaii, Amanda Kutaka, Trevor Sakanashi and Tommy Shih; they all have such distinct style when approaching photography, it's beyond inspiring.
YAS: I've traveled all over the world and I absolutely love learning about new cultures and meeting new people. However, every time I come back to the islands, I just can't help by pinch myself because we truly do live in the most beautiful place on Earth. Not just physically beautiful, but spiritually beautiful as well. From the people to the food to the culture, it's truly a special place with this incredible melting pot that's all around us.
SHAI: Because there is absolutely no place like home!
WORDS OF WISDOM
YAS & SHAI: We all have dreams of places we want to see, things we want to do, and goals we want to achieve. I say just go for it! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but as long as you tried to go for it, you can't ever say "what if." Those two words terrify me, because I think life should be about exploring and finding your destiny. Our mom has a five year rule: If you don't make it within 5 years, then you will never make it at all. We’ve applied that rule to everything that we've done and because of that, we are where we are today. Yes, there have been failures and bumpy roads in past careers, but it's taught us to take a new direction and grow from our experiences. Ask us in five years how Dolkii is doing, and we hope our answer is, "We're living our dream!"
Um, how amazing are they? Thank you, ladies, for sharing your story and inspiring us all to move forward in the direction of our dreams! Now, head on over to Dolkii.com for your fashion fix, or shop my top five edits below.